When it comes to looking after your mental health, nothing beats talking. Frank and honest conversations open up possibilities for support, reduce stigma and can help you to feel less alone. But if you want to hear from someone who actually knows what you’re going through, books, podcasts and blogs are all great resources to turn to. Whether you want to become more educated on the complexities of mental health or absorb personal stories that will simultaneously make you laugh, cry and nod manically in agreement, here’s some of our favourites…
Written by prolific mental health campaigner and author, Matt Haig, this personal memoir tells the story of his breakdown aged 24. Follow his journey from seeing no way to go on living, to learning to live again and make the most of out of his time on earth.
“I wrote this book because the oldest clichés remain the truest. Time heals. The bottom of the valley never provides the clearest view. The tunnel does have light at the end of it, even if we haven't been able to see it . . . Words, just sometimes, really can set you free.” – Matt Haig
A follow on to Scarlet’s first wonderful book, “Feminists Don’t Wear Pink (and other lies)”, this book is a collection of powerful stories from over 70 people. The main takeaway? Everyone has a mental health, and it’s ok to struggle. With writing from Adam Kay, Alastair Campbell, Fearne Cotton, Davina McCall, Gemma Styles, Matt Haig, Reggie Yates, Naomi Campbell & many more…
Despite sounding like an oxymoron, this book is both heart-wrenching and hilarious, as journalist and author Bryony Gordon tells the story of living with OCD and depression. From childhood to adulthood.
“Bryony Gordon has OCD. It's the snake in her brain that has told her ever since she was a teenager that her world is about to come crashing down: that her family might die if she doesn't repeat a phrase 5 times, or that she might have murdered someone and forgotten about it. It's caused alopecia, bulimia, and drug dependency. And Bryony is sick of it.”
There is no doubt that we’re all more stressed, more anxious and busier than ever before. We’re connected in so many ways but so many of are trapped in a dark pit of loneliness. Drawing from personal experiences of anxiety and panic attacks, Notes on a Nervous planet delves into how we can stay sane and happy in our 21st century, technology-obsessed world.
This beautiful book is a collection of letters written by those recovering from depression, hoping to offer support, insight and most importantly, hope to those effected by the mental illness. Interspersed with motivational quotes and additional resources, it’s a comforting resource to anyone on a journey to recovery.
Anxiety is complex, intensely personal and ever shifting. Claire’s no-nonsense guide on social anxiety covers all angles, from making it through events to surviving at work and navigating social media. A great mix of honest insights, humour and practical advice.
Happy Place – Fearne Cotton
“Fearne Cotton talks to incredible people about life, love, loss and everything in between as she recalls what happens to them”. With an impressive line-up of guests, Fearne’s podcast is both soothing and inspirational as she chats openly with many well-known faces about their stories - discussing mental health, love, careers, family & all sorts of personal development.
Mental – The Podcast to Destigmatise MH
“Health category winner at the people’s choice podcast awards 2019. Mental was created by Bobby Temps to break down mental health stigma and discrimination. Joined by special guests, the podcast is a safe space to hear honest and insightful MH interviews in the hope that listeners will feel more empowered to continue the conversation with others.”
How To Fail With Elizabeth Day
“A podcast that celebrates the things that haven’t gone right. Every week, a new interviewee explores what their failures taught them about how to succeed better”. Although not technically about mental health, Elizabeth’s podcast is all about humility and reframing your mindset. Candid discussions with inspirational guests are a wonderful way to see that there is light at the end of any struggles.
Whatever you’re going through, you’re not alone. Time To Change is helping to spread this message with their personal stories blog, sharing anecdotes and thoughts from a whole host of different people suffering from mental health problems. As they say “mental health problems affect 1 in 4 people every year and no one should feel ashamed. By sharing our experiences, together we can end the stigma…”
Charity MQ has a simple vision; “to create a world where mental illness is understood, effectively treated, and ultimately prevented.” Their amazing work funds scientific research that could truly transform lives of those affected by mental illness. Combining their expert knowledge with stories from their incredible community, their blog is one of the best if you want to learn more about mental health.
There’s no denying that men just aren’t talking enough about their mental health. Men’s Health’s Mental Strength section provides expert guidance, hacks & real-life stories all designed to help you improve your mental wellbeing, such as stories from the faces of attempted suicide and the tell-tale signs that a friend is suffering from anxiety.